Croatia beats England to qualify for their first World Cup final

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While there had previously been much scepticism regarding the England team, there was widespread support for Southgate's side, with the nation captivated by their progression in the tournament. Croatia played three straight extra-time matches - two ended in penalty kicks.

It didn't, however, stop England from attempting the same thing in the semifinal.

"Nothing he is going to say is going to make us feel any better", Kane said.

England´s forward Harry Kane (L) and England´s coach Gareth Southgate react after losing the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup semi-final match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018.

England, playing with zip and goal, looked sharp going forward as a rattled Croatia side tried to regroup, with Raheem Sterling proving a real handful but the score remained 1-0 at the break.

They were briefly silenced when Croatia equalised through Ivan Perisic in the middle of the second half.

England surprisingly looked subdued during a poor second half performance and they were indeed made to pay for their earlier missed chances when Ivan Perisic got on the end of a superb cross into the box to bring Croatia level with just over 20 minutes remaining.

Brutal. Why Rakitic and the rest of the Croatian team were so annoyed by England fans' social media activity before the game is anyone's guess.

Croatia could hardly believe it after Mario Mandzukic found the back of the net in extra time to defeat England in the Fifa World Cup semifinals.

Dead-ball situations once again played their part but were not the deciding factor for England and ultimately the "Love Train", as Glenn Hoddle has labelled it, was derailed.

I don't think realistically we expected to be here, but once you're here and played as well as we did, you want to take those opportunities in life, ' the England boss said.

"It hurts, it hurts a lot".

It was suggested before the game, by Business Insider and even Croatian reporters on Federation Internationale de Football Association, that Croatia would be encumbered because of the back-to-back extra-time matches it had to play ahead of the England game.

"We had hoped (for this) and we believed in our team, but the feeling when we finally entered the finals can not be compared to anything", said Ivan Kecerin, 41. It's been a fantastic journey. Sure, ultimately they came up short, but the manner of their achievement in getting to a semi final no-one saw coming has inspired us all.

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